Wayfarer Bread & Pastry to open in Bird Rock this summer
by BLAKE BUNCH
Published - 05/05/18 - 02:38 PM | 3659 views | 0 0 comments | 54 54 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wayfarer’s delectable assortment of croissants. If you’d like to try them at an upcoming pop-up, come early to beat the crowd - they sell out quickly.
Wayfarer’s delectable assortment of croissants. If you’d like to try them at an upcoming pop-up, come early to beat the crowd - they sell out quickly.
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Crystal White, proprietor and baker.
Crystal White, proprietor and baker.
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While the community of Bird Rock is well-known for its scenic stretch of La Jolla Boulevard, replete with roundabouts, restaurants and boutique stores, one thing seemed to be lacking – a bakery. Come midsummer, however, the charming coastal community will see the genesis of Wayfarer Bread & Pastry, an artisan bakery, pastry shop and meeting locale. Although an exact date is yet to be pinned down, locals are hopeful that date will fall in June – per the permitting process.

The bakery will take the place of Cali Street Tacos, located at 5521 La Jolla Blvd.

Crystal White, proprietor of the forthcoming bakery, has been perfecting her craft over the past 17- plus years. Originally from the Bay Area, White says she “worked in every bakery around Napa until attending the Culinary Institute of America. Shortly thereafter, she co-founded Proof Bakery in Los Angeles, which is still in business after becoming a “cult darling.” White then spent the next five years at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco.

Throughout this continued learning experience, White expressed that “it was always an eventuality that I would open my own bakery, the main question was ‘Where?’”

Initially attracted to San Diego for its culture, close proximity to Mexico and eternal sunshine, White took the big leap and around May 1, 2017, due to friends’ encouragement, began holding pop-ups at IronSmith Coffee Roaster in Encinitas and Tribute Pizza in North Park, utilizing the oven at the latter to execute her menu. Wayfarer can still be found at both OB Beans in Ocean Beach (Fridays) and IronSmith (Sundays) until sold out.

White expressed that after collecting funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, she still found it difficult to enter a bidding war against major restaurant groups with endless financial backing.

“I’m the sole owner, so when I’d find a location, it was easy for them to outbid me,” she said. “Also, I thought entering the North Park area, where there are already so many options, would be pretty tough. I got super lucky in finding this location in Bird Rock. So far, everyone I’ve talked to has been super excited, since there isn’t a bakery in Bird Rock proper.”

Which brings us to her menu. White has ultimately used her past experience to create a time-tested menu of classic rustic sourdough, multi-seed and olive loaves. On a sweeter note, Wayfarer croissants are offered as a classic, chocolate, savory ham and cheese, strawberry pistachio, cinnamon bun and tangerine cream bun. Also, we will be looking to offer wholesale options to local restaurants.”

“We’re still waiting for the City to finish the permitting process, but we do have our beer and wine license,” White said. “We’ll provide the classic Wayfarer menu, but will also offer fresh baguettes [baked daily], fried egg sandwiches and IronSmith coffee.

When prompted about whether she had any cooking experience outside of baking, White admitted to having spent time on a line in the past.

“I have been told that cooking is like painting, in that if you mess something up, you can correct it. On the other hand, baking is like photography. Once it goes in the oven, there’s no correcting it,” White said.

And what does she like about the San Diego restaurant and bar scene?

“I really love Tribute Pizza, Little Lion Cafe and Royale in Ocean Beach,” she said. “Also, I’m a sucker for the tiki-bar scene. Nothing beats being on the Bali Hai deck watching military maneuvers go down across the harbor.”
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